The Hyderabad High Court on Friday pulled up the Special Investigation Team (SIT) which is presently re-investigating the sensational murder case of Ayesha Meera.
Ayesha Meera, a 17-year-old pharmacy student from Vijayawada, was brutally killed on 27 December, 2007. Her body was found outside the toilet on the second floor of the Sri Durga Ladies Hostel in Ibrahimpatnam, where she was staying.
Hearing a petition by Ayesha's parents, a division bench comprising of Acting Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and Justice J Uma Devi asked the SIT why it did not examine students who were present at the hostel, when the crime took place.
The court asked the team to record the statements of Ayesha's then hostel mates.
Meanwhile, the counsel appearing for the Andhra Pradesh government said that the SIT had examined 30 peeople so far, following which the court directed the SIT to file a status report and posted the case for July 13.
In January this year, a division bench of the Hyderabad High Court ordered a reinvestigation into the case. The court said that the investigation must be done under its purview and that the first SIT report must be submitted by April 28.
After the SIT was formed, officials led by DIG Ch Srikanth, visited the spot of the crime scene and cross-checked documents and material evidence collected from the crime scene.
Additionally, the SIT tried to re-construct the scene and visited her room, the rest room and the varandah where her body was found, examining the position, blood stains and other such details.
In August 2008, almost a year after Ayesha was killed and after the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) took up the case, the police arrested Satyam Babu.
Satyam Babu was arrested in a cell phone robbery case on August 17 that year, and the police claimed that he had confessed to Ayeshaâ€™s murder during interrogation.
In 2010, the Mahila Sessions Court in Vijayawada sentenced him to life imprisonment for Ayeshaâ€™s rape and murder.
Ayeshaâ€™s parents had earlier alleged that relatives of former state Municipal Administration Minister Koneru Ranga Rao were involved in the rape and murder, and that the police had pinned the crime on Satyam Babu to misdirect the investigation.
In April 2017, Satyam Babu was acquitted by the Hyderabad High Court. The court also ordered action to be taken against the police officials who investigated the case.
The government since then has decided to re-investigate the case and constituted a SIT.